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What Is the Move Over Law and Why Is It Important?

move over law

Most states have some sort of “move over” law that dictates how drivers should operate their vehicles when approaching an emergency vehicle. However, many drivers don’t know the complete details of these laws or that they often include more than just police cars, fire trucks, and ambulances.

Polls show that more than 70% of Americans have never even heard of move over laws despite the fact that they exist all across the country. And even when drivers have heard of the laws, they often ignore them and fail to move over properly.

Unfortunately, this has resulted in many roadside workers, responders, and rescue crews getting severely injured and killed at alarming rates, and the problems just keep getting worse. As such, Kentucky is calling for lawmakers to strengthen the move over law and to ensure it is being enforced.

What Is the Move Over Law in Kentucky?

In 2003, Kentucky first passed the move over law, which requires motorists to move to the adjacent lane when approaching stopped emergency vehicles or public safety vehicles with flashing lights.

What does the move over law require you to do?

  • Vacate the lane closest to the emergency vehicle
  • If they cannot vacate the lane, they must slow down to at least 20 mph under the posted speed limit.
  • Get no closer than 500 feet of a parked emergency or public safety vehicle unless directed to do so by the police

If an emergency vehicle is approaching your car from any direction, you must:

  • Move your vehicle as close to the right edge of the curb as possible
  • Remain stopped until the emergency vehicle passes
  • Stay out of the intersection until the emergency vehicle has passed

For the purpose of the law, emergency vehicles and public safety vehicles include:

  • Police cars
  • Ambulances
  • Fire trucks
  • Tow trucks
  • Utility vehicles

To strengthen these existing laws, AAA is working with Kentucky lawmakers to include additional protections for drivers who find themselves stranded on the roadside due to a disabled vehicle, as well as city vehicles and road maintenance workers.

What Are the Penalties for Ignoring the Move Over Law in Kentucky?

Currently, the penalties for failing to comply with Kentucky’s move over laws include:

  • Up to 30 days in jail
  • A fine that ranges from $60 to $500

It’s important to note that violating the move over law can also negatively affect your car insurance premium. Violating this law will go on your driving record, which can cause insurance companies to increase your rates.

Is the Move Over Law in Every State?

The laws read differently from state to state, but all 50 states currently have laws requiring drivers to move over when approaching emergency vehicles on the side of the road.

Safety Reminders for Drivers to Keep in Mind

To avoid causing an accident that could put yourself, your passengers, and the workers on the road at risk, it’s crucial that you take measures to be more careful when driving around emergency vehicles or the other types of city and utility vehicles listed above.

AAA safety tips concerning the move over laws include:

  • Remaining alert and avoiding distractions at ALL times while driving
  • Keeping an eye out for situations where emergency vehicles or other city or utility vehicles may be present
  • Staying alert and driving carefully through construction zones
  • When you come upon a situation with an emergency vehicle, move over, slow down, and stay as far away from workers on the road as possible

Trust McCoy & Sparks—Premier Personal Injury Attorneys in Central Kentucky

If you’ve been injured in an accident involving an emergency vehicle, our team can assist you with your case. Understandably, these situations can be more challenging than other types of car accidents, so it can be beneficial to have a legal expert working with you to protect your rights.

McCoy & Sparks is continually recognized as one of Central Kentucky’s best law firms. We represent thousands of clients in Central Kentucky with a focus on providing premium service.

You owe us nothing unless we win your case. Call us at (844) 4KY-WINS for a risk-free consultation with one of our car accident attorneys today.